28 September 2022

Okra and tomatoes + corn

On the way back home from my eye appointment on Monday, I stopped at the Grand Frais produce market just south of Blois and bought fresh okra and fresh tomatoes. I already had a quantity of blanched okra pods in the freezer, but I couldn't resist buyingsome more. So I started nosing around on the 'net for okra and tomatoes recipes. There were also eight or nine small cans of corn kernels in the pantry, so I searched for "okra tomatoes corn recipe" on Google.

What I found was a Betty Crocker recipe from a collection called Betty's Soul Food. Here's a link. The recipe calls for canned corn, which I had, but also for canned tomatoes and frozen okra. As I've said, I had fresh okra and fresh tomatoes so I used those. I figured that was an improvement that would give a tastier result.

I also used shallots that I bought at Grand Frais, and three cloves of garlic instead of garlic powder. And I decided to substitute French saucisse de Toulouse, a plain pork sausage, for bacon. I cooked the sausage first and then cut it into rounds, discarding most of the fat it released. Then I cooked the aromatics and corn together, adding a sliced celery stalk.

Finally, in went the tomatoes (diced) and okra (sliced) with about half a cup of water. As soon as the okra was tender, it was ready. Inspired by the recipe below, which I had in my recipe database, I seasoned the dish with hot red pepper flakes (to taste) and added some sliced red bell pepper. We enjoyed it for lunch, seasoned with "Louisiana's Pure Crystal Hot Sauce" at the table (Tabasco or Portuguese Piri Piri are good substitutes). Here's the recipe for that spicy version of okra and tomatoes.

Creole Okra & Tomatoes

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, lard or bacon drippings
¼ cup lardons (bacon), finely chopped
1 cup Spanish onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. hot peppers, minced
3 cups fresh okra, washed, trimmed, and sliced
2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. green onions, thinly sliced
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste at the table

Melt the butter and saute the lardons (bacon) in a stainless steel pot until lightly browned. Add the onions, garlic and peppers, and season with a little salt. Sweat until the onions are translucent.

Add the okra, season again with a little salt, and cook until the okra ceases to rope, which means that you don’t see threads when you stir the pot.

Add the tomatoes and thyme, plus a little more salt to make the tomatoes break down.

When the tomatoes break down and reduce slightly add the basil, green onions, and salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve as a side dish or over rice.

Okra is a vegetable that some people either love to death while others find it completely disgusting. All I can say is that I love it, and my okra, tomatoes, and corn recipe was not slimy. By the way, it occurs to me that this recipe would be really good made with wide, flat romano green beans (cocos plats in French) instead of okra. Serve it with pasta, polenta, or steamed rice.


  1. Just from your description my mouth was watering. Just like you I love okra.

    1. Okra can also be pickled.

    2. I've never made pickled okra but I have eaten it. A guy I worked with in California moved to North Carolina 20 years ago. He said he finally started enjoying okra when he tasted the pickled version.

  2. Oh, yumm, that looks like so many good flavors together.

  3. I even like slimy okra. This recipe looks delicious.

  4. Looks lovely to me!


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